I hope everyone is keeping safe during these difficult times. Am 35, my carer story’s starts just before the pandemic hit, I had to leave my job at North West Ambulance Service due to having a mental breakdown (have suffered with anxiety and depression for many years) at the start of January, needless to say I wasn’t in a great state so my new job hunting only started mid feb when I was a bit more myself, I was applying and being rejected as always, then in March lockdown started and all the interviews/jobs I had setup were cancelled. I was and am currently living with my parents who are both in the vulnerable category with underlaying health conditions so where both shielding, and as I really didn’t want to be responsible for brining the virus into the home and possibly making them seriously ill I decided to shield with them, that’s when I made an application for universal credit as I had no idea when I was gonna be able to get back to work.
Then at the start of June the floor fell from under me, my mum had a brain haemorrhage, right in the middle of the pandemic, it was a horrific time as we couldn’t see her or reassure her about what was going on, she had a successful operation but she was getting extremely stressed in hospital and ended coming out too early and was brought back in less than a day after she was discharged after a fall and severe confusion, which was later diagnosed as a water infection (I’ve never seen such a reaction to a water infection, we struggled to know if it was to do with her operation). Eventually she improved enough to come home at the end of June.
And that’s when I stated to be carer for my parents (my mum was actually the carer for my dad before her haemorrhage as he is registered disabled), she is improving everyday but still gets confused and disorientated regularly. I was advised through communication with the charity Headway that I should now apply for the carers element of Universal Credit.
I sort out this group basically because I have never done this before, I would be grateful to get advice on what I should be claiming for, and I heard even about carers being given breaks to help them recoup, its totally exhausting. I also worry about my future, its the first time I haven’t worked for so long, I am worried that I maybe destroying my future? or am I just being selfish to think that way? id really appreciate your thoughts, and I hope I can be an active part of this community.
Welcome to the forum.
It’s really important to do some “forward planning”.
Gradually the way forward will become clearer, once you work through the options.
Answers to the following questions will narrow things down considerably.
What options are available to your parents?
Are they both claiming disability benefits?
Do they own or rent their home?
Have over £46,000 between them? Yes/No
Did the hospital arrange free reablement care before mum was discharged?
Did dad get any care from Social Services when mum was in hospital?
Do you have a home of your own?
My mum is on attendance allowance and my dad is on disability living allowance, they own their home, I think they have some savings but I don’t think it’s above £46k, occupational health have been intouch but it’s very slow process, no I was with my dad while my mum was in hospital, I don’t own any property. Hope that answered them all
Both my wife and I have too much in savings to qualify for much of anything for free - I could get two hours per week respite, and I could allow that to build up for six weeks, (no more than six) which would give me one whole half day off every six weeks. That is no use to me at all, I need a week off now and again, just like any normal person.
If your parents have under £46,000, then some or all of their care will be paid for by Social Services. (SSD)
To start the ball rolling, ask them to do a Needs Assessment for both parents and a Carers Assessment for you. Meanwhile, bring together all their financial paperwork, as SSD will want to do a Means Test. This can be individually or jointly. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.
They are supposed to support carers who want to work. A paramedic friend of mine works just a couple of shifts a week. Would this be possible for you, to keep your hand in, so to speak? Or is it all to stressful?
If one parent went into residential care, SSD would again meet some or all of the bill, as a spouse is living there. If the second parent was also admitted to residential care, then SSD might insist the house was sold to pay for care BUT they can also waive that charge as you are living there, at their discretion.
All the rules for the above can be found in the 2014 Care Act Regulations.
You need to have daily “me” time, maybe an hour or two after lunch. You cannot be their slave 24/7!